Durbridge slips out of the top ten overall as the breakaway prevails on stage three BinckBank TourWed 15 Aug 2018
The third stage of the BinckBank Tour saw a breakaway group of five riders survive to the finish line in Antwerp, with Taco van der Hoorn (Roompot) jumping head of the others in the final to take a surprise win.
The courageous breakaway battled ahead of the peloton for the majority of the stage, crossing the line more than one minute ahead of the bunch, spoiling the day for the sprinter and with Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida) knocking Stefan Kung (BMC) out of the race lead.
Mitchelton-SCOTTs highest placed rider on the general classification, Luke Durbridge began the day in seventh place overall but slipped down the standings to 11th despite the teams efforts.
Almost immediatley after the flag dropped for the third 174km road stage, a group of five riders attacked away from the peloton and established a sizeable lead.
The group of Sean de Bie (VWC), Maxime Vantomme (WVA), Jesper Asselman (Roompot), Mohoric and van der Hoorn (Roompot) worked well together and rode out to a maximum advantage of four and half minutes.
The chase behind
The five leaders continued to maintain a advantage over the peloton and with just 50km to go the group continued to hover around three minutes ahead.
Once the peloton entered the final two finishing laps of a technical 13km circuit in Antwerp, the gap to the leaders decreased due an effort from the sprinters teams, however, as they began the final lap the gap remained dangerously more than two minutes.
Breakaway fight on
Mitchelton-SCOTT sent riders to the front in an attempt to help with the chase and set things up for sprinter Caleb Ewan but in the end, the breakaway continued to fight on and proved to be stronger than the peloton anticipated which meant the group survived to the finish line, one minute 11seconds ahead of the peloton. This was enough for Mohoric to steal the race lead from Kung.
With a mix up in the overall standings, Durbridge slipped out of the top ten but with four days still to come there's plenty more time to claw back some time.
"To be honest I think the bunch under estimated the strength of the breakaway today and also the circuit was quite ridiculous with road furniture, cobbles and tight corners so once we arrived on the circuit and the break still at two minutes 30seconds and it was going to be nearly impossible to bring them back.
"The guys committed all they had to bring it back for Caleb to sprint and in the end Caleb couldn’t contest for fifth or sixth place as he punctured with two kilometres to go.
"For me I just stayed in the bunch trying not to lose time and even that was difficult considering the final circuit. We will just take it day by day, as what we saw from today anything can happen in this race."
BinckBank Tour stage 3:
1. Taco van der Hoorn (Roompot) 3:47
2. Maxime Vantomme (WVA) ST
3. Sean de Bie (VWC) ST
65. Luke Durbridge (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +1:11
General classification after stage 3:
1. Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida) 8:03
2. Sean de Bie (VWC) +0:01
3. Stefan Kung (BMC) +0:22
11. Luke Durbridge (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:39
Photo courtesy of Getty Images